Retail is getting hit hard amid the coronavirus outbreak, leaving employees in limbo without shifts and their regular salaries. Retailers like Sephora and Macy’s are continuing to provide their employees with benefits and compensation while their stores are closed for the coming few weeks, but it’s still estimated that the pandemic could lead to 25 million layoffs.
Two CEOs are fighting to prevent these layoffs within their companies.
Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear Company, has reportedly cut his salary to $10,000 a year while Columbia retail employees will still receive regular pay while stores are closed until April 10. This pay cut will help keep almost 3,500 retail employees compensated during this time of uncertainty.
According to The Oregonian, in addition to his own pay cut, at least 10 top executives have voluntarily taken a 15% pay reduction.
“Columbia has been in business since 1938 and has weathered many storms by keeping our focus on the well-being of consumers, employees and the larger community,” a statement on the company’s website from Boyle read. “We have taken many steps to carry out the health and safety advice from the relevant health authorities around the world to limit potential transmission of COVID-19. We look forward to seeing you at our stores in the future.”
Joining Boyle during this tough time for employees is Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments who went viral in 2015 for announcing that he was cutting his $1.1 million salary at the time to $70,000 in order for all of his employees to make the same amount.
On Saturday, Price announced on Twitter that he was going to be taking another hefty pay cut to ensure that no lay-offs happen at his company.
"5 years ago I cut my CEO pay from $1.1M to $70k so I could pay all my employees at least $70k,” he wrote. “That's not good enough anymore. Today I cut my pay to $0. I'm committed to laying off 0 of our employees. It's not much but it's what I can do. We'll get through this together.”
In addition to Price’s salary cut, he shared that Gravity Payments’ COO, Tammi Kroll, is cutting her $275,000 pay to $0 in solidarity with his cause as the highest-paid employee at the company.
"She already took a million-dollar paycut, leaving her Silicon Valley executive job, to come here,” he shared in another tweet. “We've lost half our revenue but together we're going to have 0 layoffs.”